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  • Nonprofit and Legal Experts Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Humanitarian Law Project Case | Charity & Security Network
    explain how providing this type of pure speech tailored to turn militant groups away from violence frees up money for other purposes Unlike tangible support such as money training for human rights aims and pursuing peaceful means has not been shown to be transferable Bradford Franklin says the Court and the other branches have failed to provide any real findings to back up these claims about this type of aid Ahilan Arulanantham Arulanantham said the Court s decision will be detrimental to the innocent victims of natural disasters protracted civil conflicts and others who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance Although the Court did not rule on humanitarian aid issues he said groups doing such work will have increased fear and uncertainty about committing their humanitarian activities after the ruling He also said the Court avoided clarifying what separates independent and coordinated support saying another federal agency found that distinction nearly impossible to determine Having volunteered in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami Arulanantham said if the judges had been able to see the the victims of violence and disaster whose lives their decision will so adversely affect they would have voted otherwise To learn more about Arulanantham s relief efforts in Sri Lanka and how material support laws undermine those efforts see his article published by the American Constitutional Society A Hungry Child Knows No Politics Steven Vladeck This is a sweeping decision notwithstanding the Chief Justice s attempt to suggest that they re leaving harder issues for another day In holding that the statute is not vague to the extent that it prohibits the provision of service training and expert advice or assistance the majority effectively accepted the government s argument that virtually any support for these groups is within Congress s constitutional power to prohibit Even the most benign forms of speech could be punished under the statute a result that will likely have a profound chilling effect on the efforts of peacebuilding organizations and other NGOs that seek to promote non violent democracy building measures vis à vis these groups through teaching and other advocacy training At oral argument the government even suggested that the filing of an amicus brief on behalf of one of these designated FTOs might fall within the scope of the statute The Court today seems to have endorsed such a potentially limitless view of what it means to provide support to these groups Perhaps the most important implications of the decision become apparent when one reads Justice Breyer s dissent Although the Court s rejection of HLP s vagueness challenges will have profound effects on the peacebuilding efforts of various NGOs the more long term effects of today s decision will likely center on the Court s rejection of the First Amendment freedom of association claim It has been the law of the land since 1961 that the Constitution prohibits the imposition of guilt by association Here the Court concluded that the statute requires more than just

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/analysis/Experts_Respond_Supreme_Court_Ruling_Humanitarian_Law_Project_Case (2016-02-16)
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  • Report Uncovers Over-Hyped Material Support of Terrorism Prosecutions by U.S. | Charity & Security Network
    beliefs ideology or religious affiliations raise security concerns for the government The criminal charges that are brought against these individuals include the material support for terrorism laws which prohibits anyone from providing nearly all tangible and intangible types of support to designated terrorist group The authors found that in effect the material support law criminalizes activities that are not otherwise illegal such as free speech free association charity peace making and social hospitality The authors also discovered that the government has argued in several cases that Muslim defendants were ideologically predisposed to commit the crime This has resulted in individuals being convicted based on associations with others or for their participation in government manufactured and controlled criminal plots In some cases minor criminal activity has been characterized as supporting terrorism Only one percent of prosecutions on the DOJ list of terrorism and terrorism related convictions represented individuals who were ready to engage in violent activity relating to terrorism in the U S calling into question whether or not these individuals posed a serious or imminent threat Seven individuals identified as security threats since 9 11 were not even included on any terrorist list despite the government s insistence on using such lists Project SALAM states that their report demonstrates that the government has manufactured most of the terrorism convictions in the country and has greatly overstated the threat of terrorism especially from Muslim extremism The report concludes with several recommendations to the federal government on how to bring anti terrorism laws more in line with actual threats This includes changing the material support laws to require specific intent to support violence According to Project SALAM the law becomes a trap for people who give humanitarian aid with the intent to help relieve suffering Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Overhyped_Material_Support_Prosecution (2016-02-16)
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  • ISPU Policy Brief: Selective Enforcement of Material Support Laws Against Muslim Charities | Charity & Security Network
    Professor Sahar Aziz the brief notes how the combination of a preventive paradigm used to fight terrorism has combined with fear and prejudice to effectively criminalize d otherwise legitimate charitable giving peace building efforts and human rights advocacy Aziz says the prohibition on providing material support law is the linchpin of counterterrorism efforts since it is so broad and vaguely worded that they effectively criminalize activities that would otherwise be constitutionally protected Since the law has no intent requirement humanitarian aid delivered to noncombatant civilians living under the control of a terrorist organization can be illegal based on the unproven theory that it frees up resources to redirect toward violence Noting that seven out of nine U S organizations shut down for supporting terrorism since 9 11 have been Muslim charities Aziz criticizes the lack of fair procedures for such groups to know and respond to the charges against them In looking at the breadth of the material support law she notes that the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of providing material support to Hamas based on the fact that the government alleged the local charities they donated to are controlled by Hamas even though they are not on any public government terrorist list Because the government has rejected proposals for reform offered by the charitable sector Aziz calls on the U S government to reassess its strategies rather than continue to employ fear based narratives to persuade the public to keep pouring billions of dollars into flawed and ineffective national security projects Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/ISPU_Selective_Enforcement_Material_Support_Laws_Against_Muslim_Charities (2016-02-16)
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  • Congressional Research Service Issues Report on Material Support Laws | Charity & Security Network
    the validity of 2339B While the report is primarily descriptive and offers little by way of analysis of the effects or flaws in these laws it stresses two points that the Charity and Security Network seeks to address by way of reform First it starts by highlighting the 1995 House report recognizing the fungibility of financial resources theory espoused by the U S Department of Treasury and many opponents of legal reform This theory asserts that the provision of any funds goods or services to an organization designated as terrorist even if such provisions are spent on lawful humanitarian aid or advocacy for nonviolent conflict resolution frees up the organization s resources to be directed towards terrorist activities Moreover any direct or tangential benefit obtained from such provisions legitimizes the designated organization The Charity and Security Network finds this fungibility argument highly flawed because it impedes a well intentioned charity s ability to provide humanitarian aid in conflict zones where a designated organization is operating yet the civilian population is in dire need of assistance by American nonprofits Second the report notes that violations of 2339A and 2339B may constitute acts of international terrorism As a consequence defendants convicted of 2339A or 2339B may be subject to civil liability in lawsuits brought pursuant to private civil rights of action available under 18 USC 2333 In pending cases seeking civil liability the evidentiary standard for proving causation has allowed for multiple degrees of separation between the designated group accused of engaging in terrorism abroad and the domestic organization accused of providing material support to the designated group Successful plaintiffs can be awarded up to treble damages and attorney fees and costs This outcome risks significant amounts of donor funds intended for lawful humanitarian aid projects to be frozen and redirected to

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/CRS_Issues_Report_on_Material_Support_Laws%20 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Constitution Project Calls for Reform of Material Support Laws | Charity & Security Network
    of material support to provide that pure speech may be punished only if it is intended to further illegal conduct 2 Congress should amend 8 U S C 1189 to require the responsible federal agency to provide designated organizations that have a presence in the United States with notice of the charges and evidence against them in sufficient detail to ensure that they have a meaningful opportunity to respond to the charges against them The procedures should provide appropriate protections for classified information 3 Congress should amend IEEPA to require that entities subject to designation that have a presence in the United States be afforded notice of the charges and evidence against them in sufficient detail to have a meaningful opportunity to respond to the charges against them The procedures should provide appropriate protections for classified information 4 Congress should amend IEEPA to require consistent with the Fourth Amendment that the Treasury Department must obtain judicial authorization based on probable cause that an organization with a presence in the United States has violated IEEPA before freezing such an entity s assets The statute should include an exception for cases where the government reasonably fears that the assets will be removed from the country unless the assets are immediately frozen so that there is not sufficient time to obtain a warrant Any such action should however be subject to a probable cause hearing shortly after the action is completed 5 Congress should carefully craft an amendment to expand the category of support or resources exempt from the definition of material support beyond medicine or religious materials to also include such humanitarian aid items as medical services civilian public health services and if provided to noncombatants food water clothing and shelter 6 Amend IEEPA or the governing regulations to require that consistent

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Constitution_Project_Calls_Reform_Material_Support_Laws (2016-02-16)
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  • Book: The Strategy of Isolation in Somalia Has Failed | Charity & Security Network
    the main stakeholders to participate in the mainstream political process and discourages interest in dialogue from all sides This means that state and non state actors are self censoring themselves in fear of the consequences that engagement with a proscribed organization might generate There is a scarcity of alternative perspectives among policy makers that could encourage the design of an inclusive peace process in Somalia the book says The authors say the impact of the U S Supreme Court s decision in Holder vs Humanitarian Law Project which upheld the ban on material support to designated groups even when the support is intended for humanitarian assistance or peacebuilding has been significant First it constrains the scope for peacebuilding among the direct parties in conflict Once they are isolated as a result of the criminal enforcement powerful groups are left with no other option than to resort to violence as non violent creative possibilities for peace are excluded Second this juridical decision perniciously impacts the peacebuilding agencies as a whole Even in nonviolent advocacy of the listed organizations NGOs can be charged with a crime punishable by up to fifteen years in prison Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Stratey_Isolation_Somalia_Failed (2016-02-16)
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  • The Complexities of Engaging with Armed Groups | Charity & Security Network
    conflict to an end is by addressing the instability s root causes and to not exclude any major party from the peace process In Engaging with armed groups Teresa Whitfield draws on experience and case studies to explain the potential benefits and challenges to mediation practitioners considering engagement with a listed terrorist group and says no one size fits all formula exists for deciding whether to engage or not Despite the primacy of terrorist lists and their related sanctions prohibiting contact to listed terrorist groups by the U S and the UN in their counterterrorism efforts Whitfield says this approach is short sighted Armed groups are characterized by their great diversity as well as the varied degree of threat which they represent to the state Such diversity accentuates the need to be wary of oversimplification or of relying too easily on general principles A better way to make decisions regarding whether and how to engage with a listed group she says should be rooted in detailed analysis of the armed group as well as the broader context within which it is active This includes correctly identifying the main stakeholders understanding the legitimate grievances and the willingness to try non military options While military pressure or other actions by security forces may be necessary to counter it in almost all cases a lasting resolution to the conflict will depend on some form of political accommodation or agreement Whitfield says The report is from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue a mediation organization dedicated to helping improve the global response to armed conflict Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Complexities_Engaging_Armed_Groups (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    and Development HLF was the largest Islamic charity in the U S until the Bush administration shut it down three months after 9 11 HLF had been legally operating for over a decade before its designation and closure in December 2001 Its former officials were convicted of providing material support for terrorism on retrial in November 2008 and received sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years Read more about Holy Land Foundation Case Summary Controversial Material Support of Terrorism Trial Results in Long Sentences for former Charity Officials Supreme Court Ruling in HLP Provision of Advocacy and Training in Nonviolent Peaceful Conflict Resolution Violates Material Support Laws Date August 31 2010 On June 21 2010 the United States Supreme Court in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project et al struck a blow to the American nonprofit sectors commitment to resolving international conflicts through peaceful and nonviolent means In a 6 3 decision the Court rejected the Humanitarian Law Project s HLP claims challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the material support to terrorism law As a result a broad range of interactions with designated terrorist groups including attempts at peace building and support for non violence are prohibited Read more about Supreme Court Ruling in HLP Provision of Advocacy and Training in Nonviolent Peaceful Conflict Resolution Violates Material Support Laws Nonprofit and Legal Experts Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Humanitarian Law Project Case Date June 21 2010 On June 21 2010 a divided U S Supreme Court upheld a federal statute that bans support to designated terrorist organizations even when defined to include conflict mediation human rights training and peace building efforts aimed at turning terrorist groups away from violence That same day the Charity and Security Network CSN and the Constitution Project CP held a press conference to comment on the ruling Read more about Nonprofit and Legal Experts Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Humanitarian Law Project Case Nonprofit and Legal Experts Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Humanitarian Law Project Case Date June 21 2010 On June 21 2010 a divided U S Supreme Court upheld a federal statute that bans support to designated terrorist organizations even when defined to include conflict mediation human rights training and peace building efforts aimed at turning terrorist groups away from violence That same day the Charity and Security Network CSN and the Constitution Project CP held a press conference to comment on the ruling Read more about Nonprofit and Legal Experts Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Humanitarian Law Project Case Background Material Support and the Need for NGO Access to Civilians in Need Date July 7 2010 Laws that prohibit material support to listed terrorist organizations only exempt religious materials and medicine That means medical services or non medicinal necessities such as clean water are prohibited as are tents blankets food and more In other words it is legal to give someone a pill but illegal to provide clean water for swallowing it There is no justification for this

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/material%20support?type=All&page=1 (2016-02-16)
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